I am a PhD student in computer science and sometime in the (more or less) near future I have to publish my results. Yet, I am rather sceptic about the current state of publishing, aka peer-reviewed journals, especially when they are not open access. I have published before on Elsevier and honestly I am not sure whether I should do this again. I have political concerns as well as concerns about the quality of the peer-review process.

I wonder what "new ways" are out there for publications? I am a big fan of StackExchange (especially StackOverflow :-) ), so I am asking if there exists a very similar forum for scientific publications?

Accordingly, a publication happens in form of forum post like this one. Instead of anonymous peer-review, every member of the forum can comment and rate the publication. Is there something like this out there? Thanks a lot!

Edit: Great that someone had the idea a year ago :-) (Towards a Stackexchange-like comment/reputation system for research papers)

Have been there any attempts to create such a system since then?

  • If you haven't already, you should check out Peerage of Science for an alternative way to do peer review. Still made pre-publication, but meant to be open, journal independent, and with reviews of reviews. This is not dealing with "crowd-based" publishing though. Jan 6, 2014 at 8:48
  • The usual way to deal with outdated questions and answers is to post a bounty on the outdated question and not create a new question. Obviously you don't have enough rep to post a bounty, but if you leave a comment on the original question, I would be happy to post the bounty on your behalf.
    – StrongBad
    Jan 6, 2014 at 9:57
  • Ok, thanks. Yet, I am also required to have 50 reputation for comments on the original question. So, I cannot even request a bounty from someone else there :-D Jan 6, 2014 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


Instead of anonymous peer-review, every member of the forum can comment and rate the publication. Is there something like this out there?

Yes. The forum is called "the academic community," the comments are called "what they say about your paper in their paper," and the ratings are called "citations." They are not anonymous. Actually, citations alone are misleading, since they can be negative as well as positive. The real way to determine if your idea is good is to see if people use it to build new, interesting ideas / explanations / products / companies / whatever. (I think they call that "impact?")

In other words: publishing is the easy part (these days). Getting people to say good things about your research is the real challenge.

I do think you are wise to think about publishing in open-access journals—and not for some self-righteous political/philosophical reason. The real reason for making your paper freely available is: more people will read it! Plenty of interesting people in the world live behind the Great Paywall of Academia.

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